Updated: Mar 1, 2019
Alcohol and YOUR! Fitness
Who doesn't like alcohol? you? good for you, but if you are like me, I love it. Unfortunately I am also in love with fitness, it is like having to choose between your wife or your mistress...OK maybe not but still a choice is involved nonetheless. Before you read this block of text let's explore a few fundamentals.
Alcohol contains ethanol, which is recognized by your body as toxic once ingested due to its byproduct acetate. Not to turn this into a science article so I'll summarize a bit more. Once ingested Alcohol literally halts fat oxidation and suppresses protein and carb oxidation until it has been completely cleaned out of your system. Thus quantity is a huge denominator, and how does that affect your fitness?
In addition to interfering with your substrate hierarchy, alcohol is a diuretic, makes your kidneys produce more water, too much of it and you can get dehydrated. Fitness and dehydration do not mix, you need to be hydrated when you exercise to maintain the flow of blood through your body, which is essential for circulating oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.
Hitting the gym the day after a night of heavy drinking? You’ll lack strength and power and be less likely to respond accordingly to the demands fitness requires and you are more likely to feel tired quicker because your body won’t be able to clear out the lactic acid you produce when you exercise. Why? Because your liver will be working extra hard to get rid of the toxic by-products of alcohol in your system, as opposed to provide you with glucose.
Alcohol also prevents you from entering deep sleep, and we all know how important sleep is. With its disruption to your sleep pattern, growth hormones, vital for muscle growth, which are released while you're in deep sleep will also be affected, that includes testosterone, a hormone you need to gain muscles. And of course the weight gain Alcohol contain a lot of empty calories and even more when mixed with sugary drinks, alcohol and weight loss don't mix.
I can go on and on about how terrible alcohol is for your fitness and for you. But if you are like me and you absolutely love alcohol too, but you love your fitness more, stick to one drink ONCE IN A WHILE (a very little while). Don't fool yourself, Alcohol and fitness DO NOT mix.